My quirky dogs.

Posted on: Thursday, July 25, 2013

Dear Mallory,

In full disclosure, I had a panic attack Monday night. It was finance + baby related [we're not expecting] and Aaron was sleeping after a long day in Seattle celebrating our 5th wedding anniversary at the aquarium and then a science + music museum and our favorite restaurant and WOW. Such a long day. And I could feel it coming. The anxiety and the vice around my heart and the claustrophobic feeling around my eyes and I was blinking back tears and just feeling very unsafe and scared. And I didn't want to wake Aaron up because he was so tired [silly, I know]. So, while staring at the wall, I noticed out of the corner of my suffocated eye that Chuck had a steady, quizzical gaze on me from her kennel. I crawled down the bed, onto the rug, unlocked her kennel, and let the attack come on. And, girl, that Chuck lady knew just what to do. She burrowed forcefully, yet gently, into my abdomen, wrapping her neck around my side. And as the attack subsided, ebbed away, she relaxed her body, licking my face every few minutes. It was truly miraculous. The one dog in the world that, 8 months after welcoming her into our family, still hasn't learned what "Come" means or "Down," who jumps and tears through the backyard like she has a hot poker on her rear, has an innate sense to calm the weak? Girl, shut up.

Sorry if that was a bit heavy. But, truly, that is a story that I will tell on repeat until the day comes that we have to say good-bye to Chuckie. I was just in awe.

Alright, something lighter. Hurley. Hurley is the sweetest gentleman that I have ever had the chance to familiarize myself with. I could tell you some really heart breaking stories about him. Once, at the dog park, someone punched him in the face because they were afraid of him. Another time, he was attacked by a chihuahua. He's afraid of balloons. He was rescued from a couple who bred him for party money. No one wanted to adopt him because he was so incredibly docile; he sat in a corner silently, observing everyone who entered the trashed apartment.

But I'll stop. Because I have a great story for you. When we were living in California, aside from job hunting, all I did was train Hurley. Sit. Stay. Come. Stay out of the kitchen. Move. Blah blah blah. One day, while in the midst of some intense leash training, we rounded a corner. It was all good. Ninety degrees out. Wind whipping through my hair. Adventure on Hurley's mind. But as we winded our way down this sidewalk, I felt Hurley tense on the leash. Something was ahead of us and. He. Was. Ready. And all of a sudden. I. Was. Ready. Too.

Girl, there was a coyote on that sidewalk. Taking a nap. I had to restrain myself from yelling, "Are you kidding me?" to the desert gods above. Because, really. We're in the desert. I had encountered 3 foot crows hopping behind me in the parking lot. Aaron had arrived home from work one day talking about a Mojave Green. There was one night Aaron took me on an "adventure" to find an "abandoned insane asylum" and instead we found a million dead bunnies [true story]. A neighbor's chihuahua had been eaten three times by a bobcat [and, clearly, spit back out]. Aaron and I almost hit a mountain lion sleeping in the middle of the highway one night... It goes on. Do you get it? Because it so goes on.

So there's a coyote. Not sleeping, especially after Hurley's lunge at him. Because Hurley was going to make it his mission to befriend that sucker. He was awake and ready and walking silently with this unbreakable stare on my flesh [because I imagine it wanted to kill me]. He didn't make a sound. And I tugged. And slowly walked backwards. And shook. And squeaked. And pulled. And Hurley was on this entirely different planet where dogs and coyotes were friends. And I was like, "Wait until I tell Aaron about this..." and "Trust me, the last thing that coyote wants to do is befriend you, Hurley Bear."

We got away. There's really nothing else to the story. But my baby puppy tried to befriend a coyote. What sort of dog do I have?! Really?! He's afraid of so many things, but a coyote he's all like, "Hey! Yo! Wanna play chase?!" Oy my heart.

Do those help at all? I hope the Chuck story didn't get you down and instead gave you a sense of hope. Because that Duke boy is going to know you when he returns in January. He is not going to resent you and he is going to be astonished to see 1-year old Harry and marvel at the temperate weather and just soak you two up. I know it.

Your understanding friend,


  1. The Chuck story was perfect. Duke does the same thing with his head. He leans right into my chest. I call it hugging.

    Also, Hurley and Duke would best friends. Duke (seriously) was BFF's with a fox when we lived in Colorado. Every night, it would wait in the mountains across the street from our house until Duke came outside, and then they would run up and down the fence together, one on either side, playing until we made Duke come in. It was ridiculously cute. And only slightly scary the first time ;)

    Thanks Amy. This helps me + my puppy-less home. XO, Mallory


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